By kenny friedman on Tuesday, March 15, 2011
In the early winter of 1928 Harry Burnett Reese was cleaning the gutters on his home. He took a break to enjoy a candy bar that his buddy Milton Hershey created. While sitting on the roof with feet on the ladder his wife came out and said, in a naggy voice, "You wouldn't be so cold if had done this earlier in the year."
Harry tried to ignore her and go back to the gutters when he slipped from the roof and landed on the ground. His candy bar fell from his hand and landed in the open jar of peanut butter his wife was holding.
He pulled the chocolate out and tried it... it was the best thing he had. He said he'd make a candy of the peanut butter and chocolate combo.
His wife scoffed and said that putting chocolate into peanut butter was the craziest things she'd ever heard of and that no one would buy it.
Well, the peanut butter cups that Reese made became a hit and Harry was worth some good cash. He left his wife who didn't believe in his new invention.
Later he remarried but that didn't work out either, then he married again and had twins with his new wife. They later divorced and he hooked up with a bunch of porn stars. He went completely nuts... it was fun to watch at first then it was just pathetic.
His peanut butter cup cash cow dried up a bit. However he was able to channel his craziness to draw a huge following from people who would read the crazy telegrams he'd send.
Fast forward to about 5 years ago.
Jif finally found something crazier to put in peanut butter... They added fish.
I had been buying Smart Balance peanut butter for awhile because it has Omega-3 added and as a vegetarian Omegas are tough to get. Smart Balance uses flaxseed oil.
So when I was at a store that didn't carry smart balance I saw the Jif Omega-3. Instead of adding flaxseed oil, which kind of makes sense and if you could taste it that might be even better, they added sardine oil, anchovy oil and some yummy tilapia gelatin.
I'll tell you, ever since I became a vegetarian I miss a nice bowl of tilapia gelatin with grapes or pineapple added in... Mmm.
I'm not surprised that Jif doesn't really care what they put in their peanut butter... I mean I realize choosy mothers choose Jif but I gotta think that a lot choose to put it on Wonder Bread. I think I was a Skippy kid growing up. For awhile my mom switched to Reese's peanut butter which was great because that stuff is a bit saltier and sweeter than others. However we went back to Skippy extra crunchy because, well that stuff rocked.
But enough of my peanut butter preferences... what kind of pisses me off about the Jif situation is they took a great vegetarian protein and added fish.
Fast forward to last week. I bought some Stonyfield YoToddler yogurt. If you follow my twitter account you know I'm not a fan of milk products, especially cheese and yogurt. But it's a good source of protein for Miloh so if he eats it that's cool... I mean I die a little each time but it's okay.
Since I don't dig yogurt I decided to read the package for the YoToddler I was giving Miloh to see what made yogurt so gross... I mean yummy. This YoToddler had DHA and as I read I realized that not only do they use flaxseed but they use the holy trinity of sardine, anchovy and tilapia.
I was really taken aback... In fact I was so pissed I had to take Kalli for a walk while Staci fed Miloh.
It might sound ridiculous that I'd get so upset about that but here's why I did.
I've known of the brand Stonyfield for years... I have seen them go from a small brand just being sold in small natural food stores to being almost everywhere. Since they are an organic brand and have the history of being in small natural food stores I trust them as a good source of vegetarian protein.
Okay I've never had it but I trust them enough to give to Miloh. I trust them enough to be able to grab something off the shelf and assume it's vegetarian... I was wrong.
They took a great source of vegetarian protein and, in the YoToddler brand, added fish.
Maybe I shouldn't assume anything is vegetarian. I've been reading labels for over 25 years scanning for hidden meat ingredients... I can read them so fast at this point that things like gelatin and chicken stock usually jump out at me instantly. I probably read the label of every new food I buy... But there are some brands out there I trust... Stonyfield was one.
I tweeted Stonyfield suggesting they follow Horizon Dairy's lead and get the goods from LifesDHA which uses flax and algae. They said they used fish because it's a more natural source of Omegas but they didn't answer my question about angering their vegetarian fans. They mentioned that LifesDHA has to use solvents to get the DHA out of algae. Not sure how they make fish oil but I'm sure it's without it's negatives.
Still I really don't see why they made the choice to take something that a lot of vegetarians go to for protein and add fish...
So Stonyfield I'm not mad... I'm disappointed. No... I'm fucking pissed.
You can also find fish in Tropicana Healthy Heart OJ. It used to be in Arnold Bread's (and their various brands) Double Omega bread. I actually sent them an email when I discovered that (while toasting some bread for the morning) and they replied that they had made the decision because of many factors but always evaluate consumers thoughts. The bread is no longer on the market. Not sure if it didn't sell well or if they realized people didn't want fish bread. Perhaps Stonyfield will see the light.